2020 is proven to be a very prosperous year for a Tanzanian man. Saniniu Laizer - a Tanzanian small scale miner found two big pieces of tanzanite gemstone on 24th June. These are the biggest tanzanite gemstones ever found in the history. Those were found in a mine of Manyara - surrounded by government perimeter to stop cross-border smuggling of precious gemstones.
The first gemstone weighed in at 9.2 kg and the second one weighed 5.8 kg. He sold these two stones in a government authorised auction which fetched him a cheque of 7.74 billion Tanzanian shillings ($3.35 million). President John Magufuli phoned Laizer to congratulate.
But the story doesn't end here. In the month of July he found another piece of tanzanite. This third discovery by Laizer weighed 6.3kg. This piece was auctioned in August and Laizer earned another $2 million. In an interview he said, "Selling to the government means there are no shortcuts... they are transparent". The 52 years old miner also added,
First I will throw a huge party of celebrations and then the money will be used to build a school and a health facility in his community in Simanjiro district in northern Manyara region.
Tanzanite is only found in northern Tanzania. It is a vey rare gemstone mainly used to make expensive jewellery. It is also one of the rarest gemstones on Earth. Geologist estimates its supply may be entirely depleted within the next 20 years. The precious stone's appeal lies in its variety of hues, including green, red, purple and blue. Its value is determined by rarity - the finer the colour or clarity, the higher the price.